Mummified Cat



Head from a mummified cat that has been unwrapped of its bandages and broken apart. This is from the auction held in Liverpool on 10th February 1890 when an estimated 180,000 mummified cats, weighing 19.5 tons, were sold for fertilizer with a few being donated to the museum. The cats had been uncovered at Istabl Antar, near the settlement of Beni Hasan. The lioness goddess Pakhet (meaning ‘she who scratches’ or ‘the scratcher’) had a cult temple at Istabl Antar (sometimes known as Speos Artemidos) where thousands of mummified cats and other felines were given to Pakhet as a votive offering and then buried in catacombs. The mummy was included in the Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio Bank Project (2016) for radiographic analysis (X-ray and CT scanning), specimen no. AEABB688 "Unwrapped mummified head of a cat with the ears lost. No vertebra present. The cranium appears to be complete and undamaged with the fontanelles fused indicating that this is an adult animal." One of a group of mummified feline parts that entered into the Museum collections in 1890 (donated by Messrs Leventon & Co.) but not accessioned until 1978. CONDITION NOTE 1998: Damage to ears; torn, flaking, exposed bone is fragile, white flecks , tooth broken, remants of fur, discoloured, surface dirt.